Diplomatic World 63…

12 October 2020

The 63rd print edition of Diplomatic World hit the diplomatic streets of Europe on 10 October 2020. It opens with a message of solidarity from Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium to overcome the challenges of the disruptive corona virus pandemic that is affecting people the world over.

As a champion of multilateralism and promoting peace this edition has interviews and inputs by world leaders, features and articles that foster the beauty of human diversity as it engages on empowerment and gender parity. HRH Princess Zamaswazi Dlamini Mandela, granddaughter of the freedom icon Nelson Mandela shares her message of a global village and unity.

President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation contribution on the celebrations of the 75th Anniversary of the Great Victory gives a fresh perspective of the end of World War 2 and the establishment of the United Nations.

Diplomatic World in association with The Diplomatic Society and The Diplomatic World Institute are providing a space for holistic innovation.  It is the dynamic use of knowledge, information technology and communications that provide solutions for a changing planet.  

 

75th Anniversary of the Indonesian National Armed Forces

5 October 2020

The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Pretoria celebrated the Indonesian Armed Forces Day on Monday, October 5, 2020 at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia Hall Pretoria in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. This simple celebration, which adhered to strict health protocols, was attended by the Indonesian Ambassador, all embassy staff, and some Indonesian citizens living in South Africa. The event was also attended by Mr. Tsepe Motumi, the Special Advisor to the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans of the Republic of South Africa and Advocate Ajay Sooklal, Legal and Economic Diplomacy Specialist.  

Photo: (seated l-r): Mme. Umi Mahmudah Al Farisi (spouse of Ambassador); His Excellency Ambassador Salman Al Farisi; Mr. Tsepe Motumi (Special Advisor of the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans); Advocate Ajay Sooklal; Col. Rolly Stephanus Rore (Indonesian Defence Attache); and Mrs. Rore. Standing are Indonesian Embassy Officials

Indonesia Opens Its Doors to KwaZulu-Natal : Concrete Cooperation Ready to be Explored

30 September 2020

Indonesia’s determination to strengthen its bilateral relationship with South Africa is now stronger than ever with the inauguration of Mr. Ebrahim Patel as Indonesia’s Honorary Consul in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, by the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Mr. Salman Al Farisi on 29th October 2020. The inauguration was also attended by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Province, The Honourable Mr. Sihle Zikalala; The Speaker of Ethekwini Municipality, Counsellor Ms. Weziwe Thusi, and Officials of KZN Province and the City of Durban.

In his remarks, Ambassador Salman Al Farisi further reaffirmed that the presence of an Honorary Consul in Durban is a reflection of Indonesia’s seriousness in developing bilateral cooperation with South Africa, particularly KZN Province, and serve as the bridge builder to connect the relevant stakeholders from the two countries, particularly in economy, trade and tourism sector. "As we all know, Durban is one of the main port city in South Africa, which has a wide market access not only into South Africa, but also to the neighbouring countries. Therefore, Indonesia sees Durban as a strategic location with many potentials that could be explored in economic cooperation”, conclude Ambassador Al Farisi.

“Indonesia – South Africa: A South-South Partnership in the Making”

Join us for a Virtual Book Launch on 12 October 2020 at 10h00 SAST

In commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Indonesia and South Africa (12 August 1994), the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Pretoria has prepared a special commemorative book titled “Indonesia – South Africa: a South-South Partnership in the Making”. The book contains writings and perspectives from various scholars on a variety of topics, such as historical relations, contemporary issues, and ideas of future endeavors that can be explored by the two countries.

In this regard, the Embassy will be hosting a virtual book launch with the aim of giving exposure to the bilateral relations between Indonesia and South Africa.

To support the event, the Embassy collaborated with the renowned think thank organization in South Africa, namely, the South African Institute of International Relations (SAIIA). The Embassy is of the view that such a collaboration will be beneficial to achieve the objectives of the event, considering the expertise and experience SAIIA has in convening seminars or webinars.

AU Chair urges countries to rally behind Okonjo-Iweala for WTO

8 October 2020
 
His Excellency, Mr. Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Union, congratulates Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on her advancement to the third and final stage of the selection process for the position of the Director-General (DG) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
 
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is the first African woman to stand for election and reach the final stage of selection for the WTO DG post. President Ramaphosa stated: “Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is a highly distinguished African, who has excelled in various public offices, in her native Nigeria, including responsibilities in the AU, and in numerous international assignments.
 
“At a time when international organisations need to be repurposed, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is the right person to reposition the WTO in order to be an effective instrument for facilitating a fair, just, equitable and rules-based trading system. I have no doubt that she has the credentials and capability to restore order in an otherwise turbulent multilateral trading system.”

Antigen tests to be rolled out at points of entry  

8 October 2020

Antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 detection will be rolled out to all ports of entry in South Africa with immediate effect.

The purpose of this rollout is to effect the provisions of the level one travel regulations, which stipulate that all travelers that arrive at a port of entry without a certified negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test result (not older than 72 hours) must be tested at the point of entry before entering the country.

(Image Pixabay)

Antigen tests (different from antibody tests) are immunoassays that detect the presence of a specific viral antigen, which implies current viral infection. The advantage of the antigen test is that, unlike the PCR test, the results are available in 15 minutes.

In consideration of the logistical complications that a point of entry PCR test poses and the additional mitigation measures in place, it was resolved by Cabinet to implement testing at points of entry using the antigen test. Government is also aware that some of our neighbouring countries, for example Lesotho, do not have the capacity to conduct PCR testing for all travelers destined for South Africa. Antigen testing will therefore enable the management of  the influx of travelers without certified PCR tests timeously.

Is real estate a good investment in South Africa?

8 October 2020

In spite of –or perhaps due to- the COVID global crisis, the real estate market is making heads turn and attracting diverse demographics: from millennials looking to buy their first home to extended families looking for bigger properties, and even expatriates considering the buy-to-let investing strategy.
 
Is this the right moment to buy?
 
Here are the facts:
 
•     Unprecedented interest cuts - As a response to the coronavirus damage to the economy, on March 2020 the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) cut the interest rate by 1%. Another 1% was cut by mid-April, followed by an additional 0.5% in May and another 0.5% in July. As a result, there is currently a prime 7% interest rate, the lowest in over 50 years.
•     A buyers’ market- There is an oversupply of housing in South Africa, with new developments being built all over and older houses entering the real state agencies’ listings every day.
•     Available financing – Buying a house now is more affordable than ever before. There is a number of properties available for less than one million Rands, which value exempts the buyer from paying transfer duties. Also, there is government support for first-time homebuyers, designed to help medium to low-income earners. Furthermore, South African banks are approving more loans consisting of 100% of the value of a house; which means the buyer can get a mortgage with zero deposit.

The Russian Embassy, an auction and chefs partner to create goodwill

7 October 2020

South Africa is fortunate to have many valuable partners. It is also very fortunate to have caring, innovative citizens who are always able to come to the party when needed. When the coronavirus struck South Africa, the consequent lockdown left many of its citizens in dire need.

Photo: Ambassador Ilya Rogachev handing over proceeds to Chef Coovashan Pillay. On the right is James Khoza, President of the South African Chefs Association and on the left is Jan Stekhoven, owner of Bryanston Auctioneers

In these unprecedented times people dug deep to innovate and find solutions to the problems that arose. Ambassador Ilya Rogachev of Russia to South Africa together with the embassy staff gathered artefacts and collectibles and partnered with Bryanston Auctioneers to auction off these items.  At the handover Ambassador Rogachev said that given the global pandemic, no country or organisation is able to cope on its own and helping each other was the idea behind the charity auction.

The auction was held online and was open to everybody to bid for these rare items.

The proceeds from this auction was handed over to Chefs with Compassion at an intimate event hosted by Ambassador Rogachev. Accepting the donation, Chef Coovashan Pillay shared shocking statistics with regards to people going hungry and the amount of food that is wasted. South Africa has a world-class hospitality and restaurant sector and at the opposite end there are so many people going hungry every day.

AMW Holidays Worldwide Group Opening and Welcoming International Travellers in the Republic of South Africa

7 October 2020

Mr. Ahmed Talaat, the President and CEO for AMW Holidays Worldwide Group joined the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Thursday, 1st October 2020 along with the German Ambassador to South Africa, Dr. Martin Schäfer, welcoming the first arrivals to O.R. Tambo International Airport along with 31 Flights, as AMW Holidays Worldwide Group is the leader for the Travel and Tourism Industry in the Republic of South Africa supported by 5 companies under the AMW Holidays Worldwide Group Umbrella namely, Land of Civilizations Tours, Mount Sinai Tours, Egyptian Investment Group, AMW Visa Services and AMW Travel Insurance.

Photo: Mr. Ahmed Talaat, the President and CEO for AMW Holidays Worldwide Group

Mr. Ahmed Talaat confirmed on this day, to the public through Newzroom Afrika during the television broadcast, that South Africa is a safe destination especially now that the summer season is starting in South Africa, knowing how the South African Government handled the COVID-19 pandemic with such professionalism.

Celebrating the 4,352nd anniversary of the Korean National Foundation Day

by Dr Jong-Dae Park, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea

2 October 2020

We hope that you and your family and friends are all keeping well in these unprecedented times. This year, we have had to deal with the new circumstances, and sadly, we lost some of our close South African friends along the way.

If we were in normal circumstances, you would certainly already have been invited to join us in celebrating the4,352nd anniversary of the Korean National Foundation Day and the 72nd anniversary of Armed Forces Day at our Residence. Indeed, this would have been my third and last national day reception I would host as the Korean Ambassador to South Africa, and in this regard, this would have been very special kairos moments to me personally.

It is not only I but indeed all of us at the Embassy. Surely you are also missing the atmosphere, gathering under the full-blooming Jacaranda trees in our Residence garden, with pleasant weather, clear and blue skies, having a glass of superb South African wine, chatting and hugging, and having Korean cuisine such as Bulgoki, Kimbap and Kimchi. Many of our South African friends have expressed their feelings of missing our cultural activities, like our monthly Korean film nights, our annual Korean Film & Food Festival in Centurion, and our annual K-pop and Korean essay contests, etc.

Priscilla Jana mourned

13 October 2020

South Africa has lost a human rights icon and a formidable legal intellect with the passing of South African Human Rights Commission Deputy Chairperson Priscilla Jana.

Ms Devikarani Priscilla Sewpal Jana passed away on Saturday, 10 October 2020, at the age of 76.

Ms Jana was an outstanding and fearless human rights lawyer who devoted her practice to fighting the apartheid regime, defending a broad range of struggle leaders and asserting the rights of marginalised South Africans, said President Cyril Ramaphosa.

President Ramaphosa has extended his condolences to the family, friends and comrades of Ms Jana as well as to the leadership and staff of the South African Human Rights Commission.

Ms Jana was a former Member of Parliament and South African Ambassador to the Netherlands and Ireland.

Ecuador – land of opportunities

By Maria Soledad Cordova, Ambassador of Ecuador to South Africa

5 October 2020

Time sure does fly and after five years in beautiful South Africa, it is time to bid it farewell.  As the first female ambassador of Ecuador to South Africa it has been an honor and a privilege to serve my country in this region of the world.

Photo: Ambassador Soledad Cordova meeting with Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Agency

Even though the Covid-19 pandemic slowed down activity this year, the friendly relations between Ecuador and South Africa have grown encompassing many sectors including in the fields of mining, environment, defence, education, indigenous knowledge systems, science and technology and space exploration.

Representing Ecuador in a number of Southern African countries, a Cooperation Agreement was signed with the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) with the aim strengthening South-South cooperation.

Trade and investment remains a high priority on the embassy’s agenda and in this regard opportunities were explored to showcase products of Ecuador. It is said to have the best cocoa in the world and the embassy hosted various events where guests had the opportunity to taste coffee and chocolates from Ecuador. The famous hat woven from toquilla straw, made famous by workers on the Panama Canal, was declared an Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2012.

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